January 1, 2020
Dear Caribbean Philosophical Association Members:
I am writing to you with, in mind, the framework of thought that governs the raison d’être and action of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. This is what I would like to insist on. But before doing so, I want to thank you for your trust and the honor you are making me of assuming the role of President for the next three years. As Vice-President, Yomaira Figueroa joins me in expressing a common gratitude to you. Our energies will be placed at the service of this institution whose aim is serious and whose intellectual project is uplifting.
Thanks to the vision and work of the successive leadership, the Caribbean Philosophical Association is viable, growing, and its intellectual dynamism is undeniable. Its ethos has influenced thought production over the past decade and a half and brought many to reposition their thought paradigms to reflect a shift in the geography of reason in places such as Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, Europe, and North America. History, knowledge, and thought do not come from the East to the West. They come from wherever human beings are.
Your dedication as members has been paramount in this process and achievement. The (infra)structural pillars on which the Association relies to carry out its aim of change in shifting the geography of reason are multifold and comprise the annual conference, the summer school, the edited series
Creolizing the Canon and
Global Critical Caribbean Thought,
The CLR James Journal, and punctual collaborations with scholarly institutions throughout the world. These need consolidation and the assurance of their perenniality. Yomaira and I, together with the executive Board and the Secretariat, will work to ensure that the pillars meet the terms of their permanence.
The age we are living in today is neither more nor less turbulent than previous ones. All ages have seen their share of confusion, turmoil, ambiguities. However, many feel that there is much regression today in the domain of ideas. While progress has been achieved to spread education and make information more accessible, essentially via the means of new technologies, the same means have also precipitated confusion or made it more complex. Those who not so long ago were afraid of emitting inhuman, racist, and xenophobic ideologies in public are no longer afraid to do so.
This is one of the reasons why the philosophical project carried by the CPA reveals itself to be pertinent. Shifting the geography of reason remains valid more than ever. Casting light on a philosophy and thoughts that challenge ideologies jeopardizing the basic human decency expressed in freedom and justice is a duty. Disseminating the ideas offered through CPA is consequently also relevant. The social media apparatus offers help in this view.
Alongside the structural pillars, your commitment to the intellectual project of the Association is invaluable. Without its members, the CPA cannot be. I want to thank each one of you for making its existence possible in this vibrant and meaningful way. I also want to solicit from you your dynamic involvement so that we can accomplish a sort of participative and inter-active leadership. I want to know that none of you will hesitate to share with Yomaira and myself your ideas or projects in accordance with the established ideas of CPA. Let us see, together, how you can represent actively your institution wherever you are in the world. You may well want to approach one of the Secretaries whose profile and addresses are on the Association webpage and see with them, when appropriate, how they can support your endeavor either during one of the annual conferences or at your own institution.
The Caribbean Philosophical Association is like no other. We want the CPA to be a home and a sure intellectual anchor for those who make it and give it its sustenance. We want it to continue to be so for academics and the world beyond with your continued support.
A new year is here that I hope has come in with brightness to all of you. It will be marked by our XVII th meeting on the Albert A. Sheen Campus of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) in Saint Croix. Yomaira and I are delighted by the prospect of seeing you there. The conference, which is taking place earlier—April 1– 4, 2020—than our usual CPA calendar of June, will be another memorable event as it is jointly organized with the annual literary festival of UVI. It will be the occasion for another affirmation of the work toward the ends at which we aim. In the meantime, I renew to you my best wishes and sincere thanks.
Lonnè épi rèspé,
Hanétha Vété-Congolo, CPA President